Reggaeton – Today and Tomorrow

September Playlist Highlights

Song (YouTube)

Artist

Category

Origin

Dile Dile - The Gold Series: The Last Don Don Omar Reggaeton Puerto Rico
Dutty Love Dutty Love (feat. Natti Natasha) - Don Omar Presents MTO2 - New Generation Don Omar ft Natti Natasha Reggaeton Puerto Rico
Danza Kuduro Danza Kuduro - Meet the Orphans Don Omar Kuduro Puerto Rico
Gasolina Gasolina (En Directo) - Barrio Fino (En Directo) [Bonus Track Version] Daddy Yankee Reggeaton Puerto Rico
Ven Conmigo Ven Conmigo (feat. Prince Royce) - Ven Conmigo (feat. Prince Royce) - Single Daddy Yankee Dance Puerto Rico
Sexy Moviminto Sexy Movimiento - Los Extraterrestres Wisin y Yandel Reggaeton Puerto Rico
Follow the Leader Follow the Leader (feat. Jennifer Lopez) - Líderes Wisin y Yandel Dance Puerto Rico
Pa Que Se Lo Gozen Tego Calderón Reggaeton Puerto Rico
Pegaito a la Pared PEGAITO a la PARED - Pegaito a la Pared - Single (Digital Only) Tego Calderón Reggaeton Puerto Rico
Papi Te Quiero Papi Te Quiero - DIVA- Platinum Edition Ivy queen Reggaeton Puerto Rico
Dime Dime - Most Wanted Ivy queen Bachata Puerto Rico
Peligro De Extinción Peligro de Extinción - Musa Ivy queen Latin Fusion Puerto Rico

 

Part II

In part one of this two part series we delved into the origins of reggaeton music.  In part two we will look at some of the top reggaeton artists of today and what YouTube can tell us about how reggaeton is evolving.

Don Omar

Possibly the most successful reggaeton artist ever, Don Omar (aka William Omar Landrón Rivera) has been making reggaeton music since the early 2000’s.  His first studio album, “The Last Don”, was released in 2003 and is 100% reggaeton.  Some of the more popular tracks from the album are “Dile”, “Dale Don Dale” and “Pobre Diabla” with “Dile” having the most YouTube views at 35 million*.  Fast forward to 2010 and the release of his album “Meet the Orphans”.  On this album and it’s follow up, “MTO II” Omar moves away from pure reggaeton to include a number of other musical styles.  Like “The Last Don”, these new albums contain several hit songs.  However, according to the view counts in YouTube it’s the non-reggaeton songs that are the most popular.  Granted “Dutty Love” and “Hasta Abajo” have over 49 and 30 million views respectively.  However,  the smash hits “Danza Kuduro” and “Taboo” have a combined total of almost 500 million views.  As I mentioned in my last blog post, “Danza Kuduro” is a take on Kuduro music from Angola and “Taboo” is a take on Lambada from Brazil.

Daddy Yankee

One of the originals from the early underground/reggaeton scene, Daddy Yankee (aka Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez) has been making music since the mid 90’s.  However, it wasn’t until the release of the song “Gasolina” that his commercial success took off.  “Gasolina”, from the 2004 “Barrio Fino” album, is one of the anthems of reggaeton music.  Internationally successful, the song reached to number 2 on charts in Denmark and Italy and number 32 on the US Billboard top 100.   The song has 22 million views on YouTube.  Yankee’s latest album “Mundial” was released in 2010 with the most popular song on the album being the merengue influenced “La Despedida” (included in the  MPop blog post playlist) with 25 million YouTube views.  Yankee’s next album “Prestige” comes out this month and of the three singles that have already been released the most popular is the dance influenced collaboration with Prince Royce “Ven Conmigo” with a YouTube view count of 60 million.

Wisin y Yandel

Juan Luis Morera Luna and Llandel Veguilla Malavé are the Puerto Rican duo known collectively as Wisin y Yandel.  Like Daddy Yankee, Wisin y Yandel are early arrivers to the reggaeton scene dating back to 1998.  Some of their popular reggaeton work includes songs such as “Pam Pam” (2005, 10 million YouTube views), “Pegao” (2006, 11 million YouTube views), and “Sexy Movimiento” (2008, 13 million YouTube views).  Their latest album “Los Líberes” was released in July of this year.  The top song from that album is the dance influenced collaboration with Jenifer Lopez “Follow the Leader” with a YouTube view count of 60 million.

Ivy Queen

Women are much less prominent in the reggaeton world than their male counterparts but Ivy Queen (aka Martha Ivelisse Pesante) is one of the few exceptions. She has been involved in underground/reggaeton music since its early days with her first albums being released in the late 90s.  Her first reggaeton album, “Diva” was released in 2003 and the most popular song from the album is “Papi Te Quiero” with about 3 million YouTube views.  However, like the other artists I have listed her most popular song on YouTube is not reggaeton.  It’s the 2008 bachaton song “Dime” with almost 7 million views.  She released a new album, “Musa”, at the end of last month.  The first single off that album, “Peligro de Extinción”, is not reggaeton either but Latin fusion.  The song only has about 100, 000 views.  However, it is currently her top selling song on iTunes (the track is not available on iTunes Canada).

 Tego Calderón

At 40 years of age Tego Calderón (aka Tegui Calderón Rosario) is one of the older artists in the reggaeton scene.  He has gained recognition not only for his music but also for his socially conscience lyrics, a rarity in modern reggaeton.  Though very talented he has not achieved the same internationally popularity of the other male artists in this list.  Searching for him on YouTube you will find that his two most viewed songs are almost 10 years old: “Metele Sazon” from 2003 (15 million views) and “Pa Que Se Lo Gozen” also from 2003 (5 million views).  Calderón appears to be more interested in making good music by his standards (reggaeton or otherwise) and less interested in making music that will sell albums.  Case in point, Calderón has stated that he finds modern reggaeton has become too much like pop music and for the first single, “Pegaito a la Pared”, from his upcoming ablum, “Mr T”,  he has incorporated more elements of dancehall and reggae.

 

YouTube views are not exactly a scientific measure of the direction reggaeton music is headed.  However, I think they are a good indication of the music people are seeking out and what I take from these view counts is that audiences are showing a preference for the non-reggaeton music put out by reggaeton artists.  In turn, commercially successful artists and those that want to be commercially successful are turning more and more to non-reggaeton music to increase their popularity.  There still is a big market for pure reggaeton but what I see (and hear) is that the music is moving away from the dem dow driven tracks of the past 10 years.  How reggaeton evolves  is anyone’s guess but like any popular genre the more popular it is the more it sounds like pop music.

Questions, comments, requests? Send me an email at djyeayea_at_salsaddiction.com

Hasta la próxima

 

* There are often multiple videos for the same song on YouTube.  For view counts listed in this post I took the count from the video that had the most views.  The YouTube view counts are current as of Sept 1, 2012.
 
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The Greatest Salsa Label Ever

July Playlist Highlights

Song

Artist

Category

Origin

Mi Gente Mi Gente - Hector Lavoe - Greatest Hits Hector Lavoe Salsa USA
Calle Luna Calle Sol Calle Luna Calle Sol - The Original Gangster Willie Colón y Hector Lavoe Salsa USA
Pedro Navaja Pedro Navaja - Ruben Blades - Greatest Hits Ruben Blades Salsa Panama
Anacaona Anacaona - Buena Vista Social Music Cheo Feliciano Salsa Puerto Rico
Mi Desastre Mi Desastre - Tiene Que Ser Manolín Manolin Salsa Cuba
Al Final de la Vida Al Final de la Vida - Super Salsa Summer 2012 Havana D’ Primera Salsa Cuba
El Jala Jala Elito Reve Jr. Salsa Cuba
La Llave de Mi Corazón La Llave de Mi Corazón (feat. Yunel Cruz) - Don Omar Presents MTO2 - New Generation Yunel Cruz y Don Omar Bachata USA
Amiga Veneno Amiga Veneno (Mi Nina Veneno) - Novia Mia Zacarias Ferreira Bachata Dominican Republic
Enamorada De Ti Enamorada de Ti (feat. Juan Magan) [Merengue Mix] - Enamorada de Ti Selena ft Juan Magan Merengue USA
La Luz De Mi Vida Zol y Luna Merengue USA
Boogaloo Blues Boogaloo Blues - Boogaloo Blues Johnny Colon Boogaloo USA

 

Fania

I was recently listening to a great double CD retrospective of music from the Fania Records label called “Fania Records 1964 – 1980”.  Not only does the compilation highlight many of the artists that were signed to the label but it also includes an excellent 32 page booklet that gives a bit of the back story on Fania and its incredible success.  Fania Records was probably the most successful label to release Salsa music.  Though the label didn’t invent Salsa as a musical genre and Salsa wasn’t the only type of music released by the label, Fania Records was the first to take what had traditionally been an assortment of distinct afro-Caribbean rhythms and produce and market them as a uniform sound (the “Fania Sound”).

Fania Records was the brainchild of musician/band leader Johnny Pacheco who with the help of his divorce lawyer, Jerry Masucci, made the label a reality in 1964.  It had humble beginnings and apparently the two started out by selling albums in Spanish Harlam from the trunks of their cars.  However, they were fortunate to have signed some great talent early on including Larry Harlow, Ray Barretto, Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe.  The talents of these artists complimented those of Pacheco’s and the label quickly grew based on the popularity of their music.  That said, the label didn’t really take off until the early Seventies when Masucci worked with a New York club owner, Ralph Mercado, to organize a couple of very successful live performances.  One of these performances was held at the Cheetah Club in Manhattan.  The concert featured the talents of Fania’s super group, the Fania All-Stars.  The evening was a huge success and Masucci had the event recorded and released as a movie called Our Latin Thing.  The next legendary performance was held at Yankee Stadium in 1973 in front of a crowd of over 60, 000 people.  The performance was also filmed and released under the title Salsa.

Through the Seventies Fania grow at a steady rate signing much of the top Latin talent in the US and releasing some of the most well know Salsa music along with way.  However, by the early Eighties many artists were dissatisfied with the fees Fania was paying them and were moving to other labels.  On top of that, it was rumored that the label was having financial difficulties, which may have been the reason why Masucci left the US for Argentian with an agenda “to play tennis”.   Masucci retained ownership in the label and was the sole owner by the early Ninties at which time Fania was a shadow of its 1970’s glory.  He did make a few attempts to revive the Fania legacy including a 1996 visit to Cuba were he signed Paulito FG and Dan Den to a new label called Nueva Fania.  Unfortunately, Masucci died in 1997 before this  label could develop any momentum.

Though the Fania label is now controlled by Signal-Equity its enormus catalogue of music is still available and hugely popular.  You can find most if not all of the Fania albums at the Fania website.

Questions, comments, requests? Send me an email

Hasta la próxima

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